A group of South Korean Navy and Marine forces left for Thailand to participate in a multilateral Pacific military exercise led by the United States and Thailand, the Navy said Sunday.
The group of 170 Navy forces and 216 Marine Corps troops, equipped with a 2,600-ton landing ship and amphibious assault vehicles, departed the southern port of Jinhae earlier in the day, according to the Navy.
The South Korean forces will arrive at the Thai port of Sattahip on Feb. 11 and take part in the annual Cobra Gold exercise there, scheduled for Feb. 11-21, it said.
First launched in 1981, the exercise, initially run by the U.S. and Thailand, has engaged an increasing number of regional participants to build regional war readiness through drills, including staff exercise and humanitarian and civil action projects.
This year's exercise will involve some 7,800 forces from Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, China and South Korea as well as the U.S. and Thailand, according to the South Korean Navy.
South Korean forces will participate in exercises to be conducted mainly in the Gulf of Thailand before returning home in early March, it said.
"Staring on Feb. 11, our forces will be training in operations (designed) to end conflicts, including deployment of multinational forces, disarmament and stabilizing missions," a Navy official said. (Yonhap News)